Infrared observations of the 2006 outburst of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi: the early phase

T. Kerr, B. Yang, Y. Matsuoka, Y. Tsuzuki, M. F. Bode, S. P. S. Eyres, T. R. Geballe, C. E. Woodward, R. D. Gehrz, D. K. Lynch, Richard J. Rudy, Ray W. Russell, Tim J. O'brien, S. G. Starrfield, R. J. Davis, J.-u. Ness, Jeremy J. Drake, J. P. Osborne, K. L. Page, A. AdamsonG. Schwarz, J. Krautter, A. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present infrared spectroscopy of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi, obtained 11.81, 20.75 and 55.71 days following its 2006 eruption. The spectra are dominated by hydrogen recombination lines, together with HeI, OI and OII lines; the electron temperature of ~10^4 K implied by the recombination spectrum suggests that we are seeing primarily the wind of the red giant, ionized by the ultraviolet flash when RS Oph erupted. However, strong coronal emission lines (i.e. emission from fine structure transitions in ions having high ionization potential) are present in the last spectrum. These imply a temperature of 930000K for the coronal gas; this is in line with x-ray observations of the 2006 eruption. The emission line widths decrease with time in a way that is consistent with the shock model for the x-ray emission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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